So I was all stretched out in my comfy pants, pumpkin spice (cream) frappucino in hand, ready to begin watching TV. I had How To Get Away With Murder ready to go, a show I think I like, but I'm still not totally sure, because it's a tad confusing. I did crack up with the whole, "Why is your penis on a dead girl's phone?" comment though.
And then the phone rang.
It was the school nurse. Never a good call.
"Your daughter has lice," she said kindly.
I sat up with a start.
"We've never had lice before," I gushed. "What do I even do?"
Why does this happen when Tom leaves? It never fails. Something always goes wrong. The last time Tom was gone, my computer died on me. And now lice. LICE. I shuddered at the thought of the tiny bugs. And then my head started to feel itchy. Did I have lice?
The nurse explained what I needed to do--the first thing being, please pick up your lice infected child. She promised to give me more information when I arrived.
Off went my comfy pants. I tugged on my jeans. I put my drink into the fridge. I switched off the TV. I look forward to my afternoons. I clean and run errands in the morning and I try to reserve the afternoons for enjoying the peace time before I have to go pick up the kids.
At the school, Natalie happily waved to me from the nurse's room. "Hi Mommy!" she said, not seeming concerned at all that tiny bugs were creeping around her head.
The nurse told me what I needed to do. Then the principal of the school gave me a paper that said I had to show proof of the lice product I bought, plus I had to have Natalie's hair inspected before she was allowed to come back to school. Meaning, she could be home with me for MANY, MANY DAYS!
When Tom is gone, I need my quiet time.
I had to get rid of this lice now.
In a panic, I asked my Facebook and Twitter people what I needed to do. Responses poured in. Thanks, guys. You helped a frazzled woman.
"We have to go to the store," I told Natalie as we walked to the car.
"Yay!" Natalie cheered. "Isn't it funny that I'm here with you now and not in school?"
We went to Walgreens, because people suggested Lice Freee. No, that's not a typo. They must really want you to believe the lice will be gone. The only thing was, I couldn't find it. I went down the hair aisle and nothing. So I paced the store, and as I stomped down the medicine aisle, I heard Natalie call out, "Mommy? I'm lost!" I looked behind me. She wasn't there. See, when there's a problem, I want to solve it ASAP. I assumed Natalie was following me. I followed her voice, and as I approached an old lady was with her going, "Oh, where is your Mom?" and when Natalie pointed at me, she gave me the evil eye. I'm sorry Gertie, it's my first time dealing with lice. Forgive me.
I eventually found Lice Freee and my eyes went wide at the price. $24.99.
"What the f*ck?" I said, and Natalie told me primly, "That's not a friendly word."
"I hope you didn't want dinner tomorrow," I joked as I grabbed the box.
"I did, actually," Natalie answered seriously.
We weren't done with the Lice Freee though. Nope, other people suggested this Fairy Tale stuff at Ulta. So I thought we should get that too, just in case Lice Freee didn't work. Then we needed a hair dryer, because the nurse had suggested using that to help kill the eggs. I'm probably the only person with a vagina who doesn't own a hair dryer. This is because I always air dry my hair.
"Look at this!" Natalie said, holding up some body spray. "It says it has SPARKLES!"
"Natalie, how can you be so excited? Don't you know you have bugs crawling around your head as we speak?"
"Nona told me bugs are good," Natalie replied matter-of-factly.
"Not these," I assured her.
By the time I was done with all the stores, we had spent about $70.
Then it was time to start the treatment. People were all, "It took me hours to go through my kid's hair," and I was thinking, "WTF?" again. Then I had woe as me moments, because of course, OF COURSE this all happens when Tom is gone.
The treatment smelled weird and I hoped it would work. Meanwhile, Tommy came home and immediately freaked out because A) we were there and usually he's home first. He does not like surprises and B) I told him about the lice and the thought of them sent him into a panic.
(Good news! Tommy didn't have lice. After he calmed down, he allowed me to check.)
The rest of the day was spent doing treatments, combing out Natalie's hair, blow drying Natalie's hair, rinsing out the treatments, and then repeating.
I crossed my fingers, hoping Natalie was lice free.
The next day, I had to bring Natalie to the nurse's room to ensure she was lice and egg free. The nurse checked her over and said she was good to go. Yes! Yes!
Only Natalie wasn't happy, because I told her there was a chance she could be sent home, and she was hoping for it. So when the nurse said she could go to class, she nearly cried.
She went to class, because I reminded her it was Halloween and that we got to go Trick or Treating later. I also promised that I'd have lunch with her the following week.
As I left her school, I put on my sunglasses and went, "It's been handled," like Olivia Pope. I freaked out a Mom who walked past in the process, but you know, it HAS been handled, and lice is no joke.
It's been handled.
(I hope. Lice can return. Please, please, please let it not return.)